22/07/2014 – Expansion
U.S. investment fund Guggenheim Partners offered its financial support to Esther Koplowitz, the main shareholder of FCC, troubled by an indebtness reaching €1 billion.
According to sources from the financial sector, the bid of Guggenheim is considered to be better than the one of George Soros. However, before accepting the new offer, the exclusivity agreement with Soros shall be modified. The Koplowitz family and their lenders, Bankia and BBVA, will try to break free from the committment.
Esther Koplowitz who controlls FCC through her firm B-1998 (an 89% stake) prefers to give up a share in B-1998 without losing the lead to selling FCC to Soros with no chance of having it back.
She will be able to repay a part of the debt with proceeds from divestments and to negotiate with the banks on delay of the loan maturity, currently set on 31st July. Apart from personal financial problems, Koplowitz seeks equity to enlarge the capital of FCC, allowing her to prepay a €1.3 billion credit convertible into shares.
On the situation twist, George Soros consults his advisors from Cuatrecasas about the possibility of buying the debt from Bankia and BBVA with a discount. On the contrary to him, Guggenheim is a long-term investor wishing to participate in the company´s strategic moves.
The fund has been very active on the Spanish market since the last year when it explored the purchase of NCG Banco. Guggenheim manages a €155.3 billion worth of assets and employs 2.500 people all around the world.
Original article: Expansión (by C. Morán & J. Zuloaga)
Translation: AURA REE